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Summer Reading 2017


In addition to a 1S1Q choice and one book of choice, students entering Sophomore Honors and Honors Sophomore MGC (Modern Global Communities) should read: 

Any National Book Award-winning book that engages with one of the essential questions of sophomore year:

  • What makes a successful, functional society?
  • Why do societies change?
  • Who has power in a society and why? Who doesn’t and why?
  • What happens when societies or individuals with different values interact?
  • Why and how do individuals try to change society?
  • What makes successful leadership and what doesn’t?

You can read any award-winning text from any of the National Book Award’s categories (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young-adult).  Look at previous winners at (click on “awards” then “winners and finalists”).

At the start of the school year, you will be asked to present to the class how your book connects to one of the essential questions.

Students entering Honors Junior English should read one book of choice, Goodbye Columbus by Philip Roth (just the title novella), and the 1S1Q choice. Students will be asked to write an essay about the texts.

Students entering Honors Junior MGC (Modern Global Communities) should read Passing by Nella Larsen and one book of your choice, in addition to the 1S1Q choice. Students in honors will be asked to write an in-class essay on Passing.  

All students entering Senior MGC: Words That Change the World should read the 1S1Q choice and a free choice book.  Honors students should also read "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka. Students taking this class at the Honors level should be prepared to write an in-class essay on Kafka's novella during the first weeks of school.

Students entering AP English Literature are required to read Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri and Atonement by Ian McEwan, and should be prepared to write in-class essays on the two works during the first week of school. Students should also read a 1S1Q choice.

Students entering AP English Language should read a 1S1Q choice and and three books from the course list; the list is available below and on the English Department web site. If you have any questions, you can reach Mr. Lee, Mr. Kaplan, and Mr. Baron by email

Students enrolled for honors in African American Literature should read Between the World and Me by Ta’Nehisi Coates, the 1S1Q choice, and a third option from a list that is available online ( or from Mr. Weintraub ( or Ms. Sumner (

Students taking Honors Film Studies should read the 1S1Q choice and watch three films from the list provided on Mr. Weintraub's website, Consult Mr. Weintraub ( for more information.

Students entering Horror Fiction and Science Fiction should read The Island of Doctor Moreau, by H.G. Wells one book of choice, and the 1S1Q choice.

Seniors entering Shakespeare should read the following:

  1. One of the 1S1Q selections
  2. One book of choice
  3. One of the following works on Shakespeare:
  • ACP
    1. Shakespeare: The World As Stage, by Bill Bryson (biography—208 pgs.)
    2. How Shakespeare Changed Everything, by Stephen Marche (sociology/history—224 pgs.)

  • Honors (or ACP)
    1. Will In The World, by Stephen Greenblatt (biography/criticism—448 pgs.)
    2. 1599:  A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, by James Shapiro (history/biography—432 pages)

Students entering Senior Women in Literature should read the following TWO 1S1Q choices: I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. In addition to the two 1S1Q choices, all students must read ONE BOOK OF CHOICE BY A FEMALE AUTHOR that falls within any one of the following genres:  memoir, autobiography, collection of personal essays, novel or collection of short stories that could be considered autobiographical fiction.  Students seeking reading suggestions can email Ms. Robertson at

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Students should read the first six chapters of "The Unfinished Nation," preparing for a test in the first full week of school.  All chapters and instructions can be found on the APUSH Summer Reading Assignment course on Schoology. You should already have been added to the course, but if not please use access code J5WX2-CH2BN.

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Newton South High School Library

140 Brandeis Road
Newton, MA 02459
call: (617) 559-6561